Prince William and Catherine Middleton will walk down the aisle this weekend much more lavishly than most couples, along with extraordinary media attention, but they have much in common with every couple: the need to learn how to succeed in the relationship. Royal divorces can shake up kingdoms, but divorce is something every newlywed wants to avoid.
Learning how to be a successful partner is key and it always entails learning effective communication skills, says Patty Howell, Vice President of California Healthy Marriages Coalition (CHMC) and author ofWorld Class Marriage. ”We hear constantly about the importance of communication skills so it’s become a cliche, but it’s essential for everyone to learn these if they want to create a foundation for lifelong happiness. The first year of marriage is an optimal time to do this in order to avoid relationship damage.”
For engaged couples, including Britain’s future King and Queen, CHMC, which is the nation’s largest nonprofit network offering Relationship Education classes, encourages you to:
- Make the commitment to nurture your relationship by having a date night every week when you can connect as a couple;
- Understand 3 common stages for relationships: 1) The Honeymoon; 2) Disillusionment; 3) Mature Love. It is common and quite natural to be disappointed after your honeymoon stage is over and Marriage Education skills are invaluable then in helping you handle the realities of married life;
- Above all, attend a Relationship Education Class to learn communication skills that will help support your marriage. A statewide clearinghouse of resources including classes for couples and individuals is available at www.CaMarriage.com.
Remember, says Howell, “Fairy tales are not reality, even if you’re a Royal. Learning the skills for relationship success is important for every couple.”
For the past five years, CHMC has taught proven relationship-building skills to more than 101,000 Californians through Relationship and Marriage Education classes for all ages and stages.